Van has finished reading…The Summer Of Secrets by Sarah Jasmon

29 Jul

I’m sitting back and I’m thinking hard about this. I’m doing so because, were it not for the fact that this is the first book of the new term of #CBBookgroup reads, I’d be saying, ‘sorry, Sarah’ (my response when a book doesn’t work for me). As it is a Curtis Brown Book Group read, I’m endeavouring to pick apart my thoughts a little.

There’s nothing wrong with the writing. The premise is sound and the characters are varied and distinct. The teenagers, particularly, are teenagers: at turns capricious or needy or wary or even cruel. The story is told from a single point of view, albeit separated into two parts: past and present. The past being told in third person and the present in first is a good distinction; it reminds me of LP Hartley’s ‘the past is a foreign country: they do things differently there’ from The Go-Between. There’s a good sense too of how blaming oneself – misplaced or otherwise – blights everything that follows.

I didn’t feel I knew present-day Helen as well as past-Helen, although events suggest that may be deliberate and it adds to the building sense of catastrophe as the story progresses. I do have a problem with the lead-up to the catastrophe. For me there is a point I couldn’t buy in to, although I’m equally aware that, had I bought into the story earlier it likely would have passed unnoticed.

Looking at the evidence, there’s nothing wrong with the book. So I have to conclude that it’s me. But you can’t love everything. And this is why from time to time you’ll see a review that simply says, ‘sorry, writer,’ because it’s a very difficult thing to write a book, any book. And who am I to push a pin through so fragile and hard-won a dream? I’m sure other members of the CB Book Group, and indeed readers everywhere will love it. Don’t let me make your mind up. Try it for yourself.

The Summer of Secrets by Sarah Jasmon is published by Black Swan on 13th August 2015 ISBN 978552779975

You can find Sarah on twitter @sarahontheboat and at her website


One Response to “Van has finished reading…The Summer Of Secrets by Sarah Jasmon”


  1. The #CBBookGroupie playlist | vanisreading - 09/02/2016

    […] Theme, The Summer of Secrets by Sarah […]

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